Travel in Tuscany
Rounded hills breathe a quiet, gentle beauty into the backdrop of Tuscany. Add a measure of history, art and architectural wonders, though, to understand why travel here satisfies both nature lovers and urban sophisticates.
The Casentino in the upper Arno valley is a mountainous region where winding roads come upon historic treasures: the ancient monastery Camaldoli, medieval castles like Castelo dei Conti Guidi, the Romanesque church Pieve di Romena and the medieval town of Stia.
The mental picture raised by the word Tuscany is of tiny towns nestled on hills. There's much more to it, though. Take in walled towns like Pienza, Montepulciano or Monteriggioni. Observe the medieval skyscrapers of San Gimignano.
Castles in Tuscany trace the contours of history. In Massa is a Renaissance palace wedged into the walls of an old fortress; Castello del Trebbio is a 15th-century Tuscan villa in the style of the Medicis.
Seven distinctive islands that scatter out from the Tuscan coast feature mountainous areas amidst sparkling, deep-blue sea. Elba, of Napoleanic vintage, is the most well-known.
Visual Beauty in Florence
Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture permeate the city of Florence, Tuscany's capital. Don't miss the city's cathedral where Michelangelo's "Pieta" resides.
The Leaning Tower is the hottest attraction in Pisa, but the Romanesque Duomo--or Cathedral--has architectural value. Its white-marble facade is set with mosaics, glass stones and marble inlays.
Michele Alperin is a freelance writer with more than 10 years' experience. She specializes in business, arts and Judaism, and her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including MyJewishLearning.com, "U.S.1," "Princeton Packet," "Jewish State" and "Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles." She has master's degrees in business and Jewish education.
Hosseman at de.wikipedia